Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jasmine Is Headed For Her Next Stem Cell Treatment

Jasmine is headed for her next stem cell treatment next Tuesday.

She is not getting additional injections into the already treated joints though, this time it's her elbow. Her elbows didn't get any prior treatment because they were in a good shape back then. But now arthritis in her left elbow is really bothering her. The elbow is probably paying for her feeling so good overall.

Going with the stem cell therapy to treat the arthritis was an easy decision for us. 

We have seen it work! Jasmine had both her hind legs treated, together with each extracapsular repair, two years ago. She also got stem cells injected into her shoulders, and an IV dose.

Given Jasmine's history of bad luck I am a bit nervous about the anesthesia, but I have no second thoughts regarding the treatment itself. 

When it became clear that her lameness wasn't going away, stem cells was the first thing both us, and Jasmine's vet, thought of as a course of action.

While the anesthesia would have played some role in our decision, because Jasmine needs her teeth done also, it was a no-brainer.

Because it made sense to treat all areas that might need some help, Jasmine underwent a thorough examination to see if her back legs or shoulders might need an additional boost. But they don't.

They are in great shape, nobody could tell there was ever anything wrong with them.

There are other good alternative treatments for arthritis, such as acupuncture, laser therapy or physical therapy. Viva's spondylosis responded to acupuncture beautifully.

If your dog can tolerate anesthesia though, we believe that nothing compares to stem cell therapy.

Of course there is a cost concern too. We used a combination of  hydrotherapy, acupuncture and cold laser therapy to treat Jasmine's muscle injury last fall, thinking that it was going to be easier on our already hurting bank account. The treatment worked and her difficult to manage lameness resolved without any help of drugs
What we didn't realize, however, was how long that was going to take.

In the end, we spent more money on these treatments than we would have on the stem cell therapy. We learned that just because something seems cheaper—fifty dollars per session sounds low enough—it doesn't mean that it won't add up by the time all is said and done.

Jasmine has to undergo installation of the stem cells only, as she already has a bunch banked with Vet-Stem

These are not the original cells harvested—those have been all used up—these are brand new cells that Vet-Stem grew from Jasmine's retention sample! How cool is that?

Makes you feel like being in a science fiction movie, doesn't it?

Nope, no fiction, just very cool science!

We are a little worried about getting the cells through customs as this had been a regular problem for patients in Canada, Ontario in particular. Knowing about the potential issues though, we are ready for it, and hubby will be on a stand-by to pick them up in case hold up at customs does occur.

Bureaucracy gets you every time, doesn't it?

But since we are ready for it, we are hoping that everything will go smoothly this time.

It won't rain if you pack an umbrella!
The good news for dogs in Canada is that in June of this year, Vet-Stem has licensed the exclusive rights for veterinary stem cell services from fat tissue to Chemaphor Inc., so this will cut down on shipping costs and paperwork and eliminate trouble at customs.

While I can't help worrying about things, I am excited about getting Jasmine's leg all fixed up.

There is a lot we owe to VetStem, not only the treatment itself. Through VetStem we found Jasmine's wonderful vet. It if wasn't for him, I doubt Jasmine would have been still with us.

Fingers crossed that Jasmine doesn't come up with any new complications.

Related articles:
Stem Cells for Dogs? Oh yeah, baby!
Interview with Dr. Robert J. Harman, D.V.M., M.P.V.M. - CEO and founder of Vet-Stem
Jasmine is Vet-Stem's poster child! 
Zeus Gets Stem Cell Treatment


Vet-Stem has been providing stem cell training and services to hundreds of veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada since 2004. Over 6,000 animals have been treated for arthritis and/or tendon and ligament injuries, many of which were not responding to other treatment methods.

You can follow latest Vet-Stem news on Arthritis in Dogs Blog
or connect with Vet-Stem on Facebook or Twitter


  1. Hope everything turns out OK and will be crossing my fingers for you and Jasmine.

    Stem Cell treatment is very promising and we are keeping our ears and eyes open. It is not available in Denmark though, so if we would decide to "go for it", it will require some travel.

    But as you wrote (thanks for the mention) Viva is responding great to her acupunctur treatment together with the glucosamine supplement. Lets hope it stays that way and we don't need any additional treatment !

  2. In some way I feel everything will go smoothly this time. But it's hard not to worry, knowing Jasmine.

    Since the acupuncture has been working, no need to try something else. In the meantime stem cell therapy might become available in Denmark too.

  3. Jana, This is a wonderful post. You taught me a lot here! Very very cool! I will thinking of you and Jasmine on Tuesday.

  4. I hope all goes well with Jasmine's stem cell injections and dental! Hopefully going through customs isn't an issue either, paws crossed!

  5. Dear Dr. Laci. Thank you :-) Any time you want I'm willing to chat with you about it.

  6. Dear Luanne. Thank you, I think it's about time for everything go smoothly for change.

  7. What a great post! Isn't science amazing? Keeping my fingers crossed for Jasmine. I have an article coming up in the next issue of Healthy Pet magazine (or maybe it's already out? I'm not always the first to know :) about stem cell therapy for pets. I'm a big believer in it, but I'm a little worried about the newer same-day therapy available at some hospitals, as I'm afraid it may compromise safety/sterility. See here for more info:

  8. Dear Dr. J.C.

    Yes, we are big advocates of stem cell therapy and Vet-Stem. Jasmine got her first treatment over two years ago when it was quite 'new'.

    Interesting that you're concerned about the do-it-yourself version.

    I was thinking about that a lot. I remember an article I read about a woman with kidney disease who went to China (or something like that) to have stem cell treatment done. They used stem cells from bone marrow.

    She ended up with growths on her kidneys. Firstly, apparently the cells should have been applied as IV and not injected into the kidney directly. That's what the article stated.

    What I found interesting was that the growths contained bone marrow cells.

    That didn't make sense to me, as stem cells = blanks without any preconceived purpose.

    The only way I can figure out an explanation to that is flaw in the isolation process = some remnants of the bone marrow cells remained with the stem cells.

    That would explain to me why the stem cells would have been differentiating into bone marrow cells instead of kidney cells.

    I am working on an article along these lines.

    If you want, I would love to feature a guest post with the topic too.